Keaton resigns as Heroes#8217; head coach

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

HUNTINGTON - Turmoil within the Huntington Heroes organization lead to significant changes over this past weekend.

The Heroes were scheduled make the trip last Friday night to Florence, S.C. to face the Phantom. Instead, the team decided not to make the trip amidst financial disputes between the team and the front office.

On Saturday, head coach Teddy Keaton decided to step down from his coaching position.

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“It was a difficult decision. I didn’t want to do this, but it was something I had to do,” said Keaton.

Keaton led the Heroes to a 5-1 record while in Huntington.

“I want to thank all the fans who supported me while I was here. I hope they will continue to support this team the rest of the way,” said Keaton.

Other changes included the dismissal of offensive coordinator Kenny Johnson. Fullback Wilmont Perry, wide receiver Jay Jackson, defensive backs Larry Thompson, Deleon Raynor, Otheese Wells and Jesse Parker have been released as well.

Thursday night, the Heroes ownership met with the team before the they were scheduled to make their trip to South Carolina. The players were paid in full through the Canton game. However, all coaches except Keaton were paid.

The players then decided not to make the trip as a result.

Keaton said he did not know the players had made this decision themselves and, in fact, planned to do this even before this past weekend.

The players had originally made plans not to play the Canton game. Instead, they chose to play the game for the fans.

“The players knew this franchise had never beaten (Canton) and the fans wanted to beat them so bad. So they wanted to win that game for the fans of Huntington,” said Keaton.

Keaton’s successor will be assistant coach Carlos Clayton.

“Carlos will do a great job. He’ll be able to keep this team together and continue the team’s goal to bring a championship to Huntington,” said Keaton.

This won’t be the first time Clayton has been at the helm. He was the head coach of the Montgomery Maulers of the National Indoor Football League.

Clayton wants to assure fans that most of the team is intact and will continue to play for the goals the teams set back in training camp.

“We still have (Darnell) Kennedy, (Octavius) Day, Kool-Aid Owens, as well as many other on the roster,” said Clayton. “Our goal is still to bring a championship to Huntington.”

Huntington is at home to face Fayetteville Saturday night.